This is something I’ve thought should be a natural fit but isn’t because it actually requires employees to openly discuss mental health. We haven’t really figured out how to get past that stigma. Still, this is one way to do more than just point at an employee resource program.
“Peer-to-peer programs supplement existing employee assistance programs (EAPs) and often serve as a helpful alternative for those who are not yet ready to turn to their HR department or other avenues for help. And proponents say these initiatives positively encourage a change in company culture to support employee mental health. The premise is simple: Help people recognize and talk about mental health in the workplace without the stigma. “
One way that I can see this being helpful that wouldn’t require much effort at all is to have a group of people who have been in touch with your EAP and navigated the maze that it can be, available to talk with other employees and assist them with that process. That can be the simplest, and yet most effective, way to start peer-to-peer support. There is much more that can be offered but if you’re struggling to know where to start, that can be one option.
However, to even get there we need to stop the secrecy, shame, and stigma surrounding mental health.